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HEALTH CONSULTATION

HAGER HINGE
OXFORD, CALHOUN COUNTY, ALABAMA


DISCUSSION

To determine if a public health threat exists at the Hager Hinge site, the Alabama Department of Public Health identified and evaluated contaminant concentrations and exposure pathways. Contaminant concentrations were compared to ATSDR's comparison values to determine if further evaluation was warranted. Comparison values are media specific concentrations of contaminants that are considered to be safe levels of exposure. Exceeding a given comparison value does not mean that adverse health effects would be expected to occur.

The Alabama Department of Public Health and the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry recognize that children are especially sensitive to some contaminants. Both adults and children were considered in evaluating exposure and possible adverse health effects.

Subsurface soil

TCE was detected at levels above ATSDR comparison values in on-site subsurface soil samples (4-60' deep). However, any exposure to contaminants detected in subsurface soil would be minimal, unless there was cause for excavation, which is not expected to occur. Therefore, any exposure to contaminants in soil would usually occur in the top several inches.

On-site groundwater

Concentrations of TCE and benzene detected in the on-site groundwater monitoring wells were above ATSDR comparison values. However, on-site groundwater is not used for drinking, showering, or washing. Therefore, no exposure pathway exists for on-site workers, adults, or children to groundwater contaminated with TCE or benzene on-site.

Off-site groundwater

Coldwater Well: TCE has been detected above ATSDR comparison values in the Coldwater Well. Using standard default values (70 kilogram adult ingesting 2 liters of water per day; 10 kilogram child ingesting 1 liter of water per day), an adult or child ingesting the maximum concentration of TCE detected in Coldwater Well (3 ppb), would receive a dose of TCE well below the lowest level that has been shown to cause adverse non-cancerous health effects in animals. Based on the levels and assumptions presented, it is very unlikely that exposure to the concentrations of TCE detected in the well would result in adverse non-cancerous health effects for adults or children.

The International Agency for Research on Cancer has determined that trichloroethylene is potentially carcinogenic to humans. EPA has derived an oral Cancer Slope Factor (CSF) for TCE of 0.011 mg/kg/day [4]. The CSF is an estimate of the carcinogenic potency of a contaminant, and can be used to estimate the carcinogenic risk due to exposure to a contaminant. Using the CSF, adult or children ingesting the maximum level of TCE detected in Coldwater Well (3 ppb) for 70 years, would be exposed to a level of TCE that is not likely to result in an unacceptable cancer risk.

Private well: Use of the private well located at the Don Lee trailer park was discontinued in 1995. There is no present or future pathway of exposure for residents of the trailer park to TCE contaminated groundwater. However, prior to the discontinuation of the well, TCE was detected at concentrations above ATSDR comparison values. A completed pathway of exposure existed in the past for adults and children through ingestion of groundwater from the well.

Using standard default values (70 kilogram adult ingesting 2 liters of water per day; 10 kilogram child ingesting 1 liter of water per day), an adult or child ingesting the maximum concentration of TCE detected in the private well (5 ppb) would have received a dose of TCE well below the lowest level that has been shown to cause adverse non-cancerous health effects in animals. Therefore, it is very unlikely that exposure to the concentrations of TCE detected in the private well would have resulted in adverse non-cancerous health effects for adults or children.

The International Agency for Research on Cancer has determined that trichloroethylene is probably carcinogenic to humans. EPA has derived an oral Cancer Slope Factor (CSF) for TCE of 0.011 mg/kg/day [4]. The CSF is an estimate of the carcinogenic potency of a contaminant, and can be used to estimate the carcinogenic risk due to exposure to a contaminant. Using the CSF, adult or children ingesting the maximum level of TCE detected in the private well (5 ppb) for 70 years would be expose to a level of TCE that is not likely to result in an unacceptable cancer risk.


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